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Kentucky Basketball Offseason Update

Photo: The New Yorker
University of Kentucky Coach John Calipari has hired a new offensive assistant and looks to take the UK men’s basketball team back to a national championship.

Austin Cocanougher
Herald Contributor

John Calipari and the Kentucky basketball program have done a lot of moving and shaking this offseason. After what many consider another slightly disappointing year of on-court performance, Calipari made the call to go all-in on making the necessary changes to bring Kentucky basketball back to being a powerhouse in college basketball.

Fans have often criticized Cal for running an outdated offense, refusing to recruit shooters above pure athletes, yelling at players too much, and not filling out his roster with quality depth behind starters. All of these problems, along with an apparently growing disconnect from the fanbase, has led many fans to turn on Calipari-some even calling for his job. However, since losing to Kansas State in last year’s tournament and ending what many thought to be a come-back season early, Cal has been working hard behind the scenes to revamp the entirety of the Kentucky basketball program.

The first thing that needed to be done to show the big blue nation things were returning to normalcy was to bring in a stellar recruiting class. Despite consistently being top three in the country, the past several recruiting cycles have not been nearly as dominant for the Cats as they were in the early Cal years. In the 2023 class, Kentucky’s staff did more than just reclaim the top spot in the rankings-they knocked it out of the park. Kentucky is bringing in four 5-star players, one 4-star player and two high 3-star players. Among these are four of the top 10 players in the class. In addition to these stellar freshmen, Kentucky has brought in four-star grad transfer Tre Mitchell from West Virginia to replace Oscar Tshiebwe on the block. Despite losing a lot of players to the draft and the portal, Kentucky has done a tremendous job of reloading.

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